Jayson Werth to sit out weekend in Pittsburgh

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Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth, dealing with a tweaked hamstring, will watch this weekend’s series against the Pirates from the bench at PNC Park. Via Mark Zuckerman:

“Hopefully it’s going to come along, and he’ll be ready when we get home,” [manager Davey] Johnson said, speculating Werth could return Tuesday for the start of a home interleague series with the Tigers.

Johnson reiterated that Werth’s hamstring injury won’t require a DL stint, unlike Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos (who each missed 15 days with a similar ailment). In Werth’s case, the hamstring is tight but not pulled, according to Johnson.

Werth has mostly hit in the #2 spot in the Nationals’ batting order. Without his bat tonight, Johnson moved Ian Desmond to #2 after having hit fifth yesterday and fourth on Wednesday. Werth is hitting .260 with a 3.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, both uncharacteristic of the right fielder.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.